The University of Helsinki is committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all its operations, which means taking action to advance accessibility. By accessibility, we mean the accessibility of digital services, which means that anyone can easily access online services and content. By accessibility, we also mean taking into account people's diversity, such as providing accessible facilities, personalized arrangements and training.
Accessibility of digital services

The Web Accessibility Directive of the EU and the Finnish Act on the Provision of Digital Services (in Finnish and Swedish only)  also apply to the University. The website, as well as all other online services operated by the University, must comply with the requirements of the Act on the Provision of Digital Services. Accessibility statements describe the accessibility of our services and provide information on how to give feedback on accessibility. Accessibility statements are available in conjunction with each individual online service. 

Accessible online services have technically error-free implementation, a clear and easily perceivable user interface and understandable content. Challenges remain in the production of accessible content, since there are thousands of content producers at the University. 

For example, the accessibility of the website has been continuously improved with the help of audits carried out by experts and automated tools. Content producers have been oriented in producing accessible content. 

Accessibility guidelines for digital services
Content production guide

The Act on the Provision of Digital Services applies to most of the features and content of websites and applications. According to the supervisory authority, only a handful of content and services are not required to comply with accessibility requirements: 

  • Live video and audio streams 
  • Content in temporary use by a restricted group in teaching 
  • Certain tests (e.g., listening comprehension or testing of visual skills) 
  • Maps and map services (excepting online maps for navigation) 
  • Archived websites or content 
  • Content produced by a third party (e.g., social media feeds) 

Instructions pertaining to the accessibility of other content are available in the accessibility section of the content production guide (log in with your University credentials). Complying with accessibility requirements requires learning new things. When updating existing or creating new content, make sure that at least the following criteria are fulfilled: 

  • Heading levels are in logical order. 
  • Images and infographics have alternative texts. 
  • Link titles are clear. 
  • Videos have subtitles and podcasts or other audio recordings have have text equivalents. 
  • Attachments are accessible. 

However, language that is clear and understandable is key to the accessibility of the content. 

The accessibility section of the content production guide contains also detailed instructions targeted at the Drupal content producers of the website as well as individuals producing content for Flamma. Separate instructions are available on Flamma for those producing content for the Instructions for Students and Instructions for Teaching websites (log in with your University credentials). 


Instructions for Teaching

In addition to the accessibility section of the content production guide, instructions targeted at teachers are available on the Instructions for Teaching website

Moodle ( and our Moodle-based MOOC environment ( are teachers’ primary publishing channel for digital material. MOOC areas must always be made accessible both in terms of technical implementation and content. The accessibility of closed and one time used Moodle areas can can emphasize the appropriateness of the entity.  

The instructions for teachers in Moodle contain information on how to create, transfer or combine three types of content or services in Moodle areas:  

  1. Content to be made accessible in Moodle (texts, links, tables, images) 
  2. Content to be made accessible outside Moodle (e.g., self-produced documents, videos and recordings) 
  3. Third-party content or services (e.g., documents, videos, recordings, websites or online services) 

In addition to the accessibility instructions, teachers are supported by the specialists of Educational Technology Services. 

The accessibility of videos continues to present challenges. In addition to the development of existing systems, the University is currently testing and piloting new tools and services with which accessibility requirements can be met even better in the future. Please note that video accessibility is not limited to subtitles. The clarity of the whole video and the quality of the technical implementation are a good starting point. Subtitles and text responses can be provided either as a purchased service, through speech recognition or directly at the scripting stage. 

Instructions for Students

Teaching is accessible when students have easy access to the classroom, can easily use the IT services employed in instruction and in communication about it, and are able to fully participate in instruction. 

University’s individual arrangements cannot make up for accessibility gaps, but arrangements can help to make student’s learning more accessible and help student’s achieve the learning outcomes required for their degree and courses. Read more on the individual arrangements page. 

The content produced by students for Moodle areas need not comply with the accessibility requirements, with the exception of content to be used recurrently. For example, a video produced by a student that remains in use as learning material must be captioned. 

Theses published in Helda should be made accessible. In fact, instructions on the accessibility of thesis files are drawn up for students.

Accessibility work at the University

Our University strives to enhance its services, facilities and operations so that they will be suitable for all. 

We comply with the principles of equality, non-discrimination and inclusion. Inclusion means accommodating all, as a matter of course, so that everyone can participate equally in any activity. An accessible environment does not differentiate between people based on their ability to move and function. Enabling equal participation requires, among other things, accessibility. In an accessible environment, everyone can function equally well, regardless of factors relating to eyesight, hearing, mobility, age or other personal characteristics. 

The means used to promote accessibility at the University include the following: 

  • The level of accessibility is good with regard to physical disabilities. Each new project or renovation at the University aims to further enhance accessibility. 
  • Students are offered individual learning support that they may need because of a long-term illness or disability. Read more on the individual arrangements page. 
  • The University employee has the opportunity to discuss with the unit supervisor of their own individual arrangements and how they can be implemented. 
  • The University has an expert group on individual arrangements and accessibility liaison officers who support students when making individual arrangements.